In this article:
What is a LEDES file?
The Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard is a set of file format specifications intended to facilitate electronic data transmission in the legal industry. The phrase is abbreviated LEDES and is usually pronounced as "leeds".
A LEDES file is a machine-readable file that displays invoice data in a specific order and format. This allows a company to ingest, accept, and process invoices in an industry-standard way, making processing and payment much easier.
Supported formats to upload in LawVu
LawVu supports the following Ledes file formats, each with varying degrees of support:
Older Ledes formats: LEDES 98B, LEDES 98BI
These formats create LEDES files that appear with the .txt file extension. Please note that this format does not allow for line-by-line item approvals and adjustments by the client in LawVu.
Newer Ledes formats: XML E-Billing version 2, XML E-Billing version 2.1
These formats create LEDES files and appear with the .xml file extension and DO ALLOW for line-by-line item approvals and adjustments by the client in LawVu.
We don't officially support LEDES 98 (with no B/BI) or LEDES 2000. We offer limited support for LEDES 98B and LEDES 98BI.
Minimum acceptance criteria
Ledes files can be configured to contain certain attributes from your practice management system. To submit Ledes files and then relate them to matters in LawVu, please ensure they contain the following attributes as a minimum:
For matter linking:
Client ID (aka, your organization name)
Invoice ID (aka, Invoice Number)
Matter ID/Name (which is referred to as the client reference ID)
Note, this is the LawVu Matter ID, starting with "LV" and followed by numbers. Firms uploading Ledes invoices need the full Matter ID, e.g. "LV0536-0099"
Fees (exc. GST/Tax)
Disbursements (exc. GST/Tax)
Uploading Ledes files
Law firms can upload their invoices directly into LawVu, linking them to the respective client matters. LawVu then automatically calculates the total amount, compares it to the estimated cost for that matter, and presents the information in our internal reports.
This automated approach is more efficient and accurate than manually entering data from a PDF.
For instructions on how to upload invoices to LawVu, head to this article.
After the Ledes file is uploaded, a copy of the original file is available for download in the Original invoice column found in the Invoices grid.
Common errors and how to resolve them
LawVu follows the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard for handling billing information. When exporting LEDES files from a billing system, it's important that the files are accurate. This includes using correct timekeeper level codes, proper date formats, and accurate representation of tax for line items.
These requirements are not determined by LawVu but are part of the LEDES standard that LawVu adheres to.
If the file is not correct, LawVu will display an error message on upload, and that error message will give some clues as to which fields are missing or invalid.
Some of the most common errors related to Ledes upload are:
Invalid Timekeeper Level: tk_level
Eg, will be described in the LEDES XML file as “PARTNER”, should be “PARTNR”.
LEDES.org sets out the list of accepted timekeeper codes
Wrong Client Name, eg “Boats Inc” instead of “Boats”
Must be an exact match to the name of the client in the LawVu platform
LEDES itemises tax against each line item
You can find a comprehensive list of valid timekeeper codes on the LEDES website at the following link: LEDES Timekeeper Classification Codes. This resource provides an updated collection of codes that can be used to classify timekeepers in accordance with LEDES standards.